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Obama’s debate loss: Another one gets tossed under the blame bus

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By Doug Powers  •  October 7, 2012 12:49 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Scapegoats for President Obama’s panned debate performance last week have ranged from the moderator to the altitude. Now we can add John Kerry to the list:

From CBS’s “This Morning”:

Norah O’Donnell: “Some Democrats say [Obama’s] campaign needs a wake-up call. Bill Plante is here with that part of the story. Bill, you’ve been talking to your sources; what are they saying?

Correspondent Bill Plante: “Well Norah, they’re simply upset and really outraged. They blame the President’s team, first of all, for not preparing him to meet the challenge of an aggressive Mitt Romney. They say that nobody in the room challenged him, including the guy that he was debating with, John Kerry, because, as they say, he wants to be Secretary of State so he’s not going to get in the President’s face. And Presidents are used to deference; they’re not used to people challenging them like that. So they think that the debate prep was terrible, but they also fault the President himself for not understanding that Romney was going to be more aggressive.”

Sources in the room during debate practice also said it didn’t help matters that Kerry accidentally fell out of character and claimed that the best path to economic recovery is to marry a ketchup heiress.

Ahead of the coming week’s trip to debate camp, today the president is heading to Hollywood to not only rake in cash, but because of last Wednesday’s debate debacle (thanks a lot, Senator Kerry), Obama will also offer reassurances to concerned Hollywood lefties and get some theatrical pointers:

President Barack Obama returns to Los Angeles Sunday for a star-bedecked celebrity concert and fundraising dinner. In the wake of his Denver debate troubles, however, the long scheduled visit has acquired another, equally urgent purpose—reassuring his Hollywood supporters that he’s fighting to win the race and he’s poised for a comeback in the next televised forum with former Gov. Mitt Romney.

From the now iconic dinner at George Clooney’s house that created a new Internet raffle style of campaign fundraising, through a series of lucrative Westside fundraisers and a wildly successful gala staged by the gay and lesbian community, the entertainment industry—in both L.A. and New York—has turned out to be a critical component in the Obama campaign’s fundraising efforts. There’s also no doubt that the president’s Hollywood supporters were deeply shaken by his lackluster performance in this week’s debate with Republican nominee Romney.

“Everyone is in shock,” said one long-time Democratic activist. “No one can understand what happened.”

At the very least, several longtime Obama supporters told THR, the chief executive should expect some directorial notes on how to tailor his performance to television’s split screen. “Everyone with a connection to the president is reaching out to him,” said another veteran Dem. “At the end of the day, the best coach he has is himself.”

Ever since the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon match I thought the “what it looks like on TV” thing has been covered on day one of Debate 101, but I guess not.

Semi-related:

Last night SNL spoofed MSNBC’s post-debate meltdown — which was unspoofable because it’s impossible to further parody the original — but they gave it a noble effort nonetheless (h/t The Right Scoop):

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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